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Recurrence of Prolapse After Transvaginal Mesh Excision

George, Amy MD; Mattingly, Marlena MD; Woodman, Patrick DO; Hale, Douglass MD

Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery: July/August 2013 - Volume 19 - Issue 4 - p 202–205
doi: 10.1097/SPV.0b013e31829098a5
Original Articles

Objective: Recurrence of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a potential complication after mesh removal. We evaluated anatomical and functional outcomes preoperatively and postoperatively in patients undergoing mesh excision.

Materials and Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis of consecutive patients who underwent mesh excision from years 2005 to 2009. Anatomical outcomes were evaluated using the POP quantification (POP-Q) system. Recurrence of prolapse was defined as stage II or higher-stage prolapse on the POP-Q system, reoperation for prolapse, or postoperative use of a pessary for prolapse reduction. Functional outcomes were assessed using the pelvic floor distress inventory and pelvic floor impact questionnaire scores.

Results: Data were analyzed from 71 patients who underwent either partial or complete mesh excision. Most (44/70 [63%]) of the patients underwent partial mesh excision, and 26 patients (37%) underwent total mesh removal. Nineteen patients (26.7%) had preoperative prolapse and 27 (38.0%) of the 71 patients underwent concomitant native tissue prolapse repair. Overall change in POP-Q stage in women who underwent partial removal (median, 0 [−1 to 2]) was less advanced than in women with total excision. (median, −1 [−3 to 0]; P = 0.006) at 1 year postoperatively. Four patients prolapsed to the hymen, with all patients having defects in the anterior compartment. No patients required a second surgery, and one patient was treated with a pessary.

Total pelvic floor distress inventory and pelvic floor impact questionnaire scores before mesh excision were significantly improved 6 months after mesh removal (P < 0.05). Dyspareunia improved significantly after mesh excision (P = 0.034).

Conclusion: In our patient population, total and partial mesh excision is associated with re-treatment of POP in 1.4% of the patients. Patient functional outcomes significantly improved after mesh removal.

Risk of recurrent prolapse is low following total and/or partial mesh excision.

From the Division of Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, IN.

Reprints: Amy George, MD, Indiana University/Methodist Hospital, Indianapolis, IN. E-mail:

The authors have declared they have no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins